Man killed by Phoenix Police marks the city's 3rd deadly officer-involved shooting in a week

The Phoenix Police Department says a deadly shooting involving its officers broke out the afternoon of Feb. 25 after reports of an intoxicated driver came in and the investigation quickly escalated.

Just after 3 p.m., the department tweeted that it was investigating an officer-involved shooting that happened at Central Avenue and Bell Road.

Police say a caller saw a vehicle driving erratically on the road and almost hit a pedestrian. The caller reported seeing the suspect drink from what appeared to be a liquor bottle while behind the wheel and followed him while still on the phone with dispatchers.

Officers arrived at a nearby apartment complex and found the male inside his parked car – they also spotted a rifle on the seat.  

Police started questioning him, and he was complying, but then police say he grabbed another gun that was holstered in the driver's door pocket.

That’s when they say a struggle over the handgun happened between him and officers, with the suspect reportedly getting possession of it at one point.

Officers fired at the suspect, and they say it's unclear if the suspect also fired his gun.

The suspect, 36-year-old Matthew Anthony Sansotta, was taken to the hospital where he died. No officers were hurt.

This is the third deadly police shooting involving Phoenix officers this week. There was another deadly police shooting in Avondale, too.

The first was on Feb. 22 around 2 p.m. near 23rd and Glendale avenues. The second happened around 5 p.m. near Adams Street and 27th Avenue. Both of the shootings resulted in the suspect dying.

"… we hold up to our transparency policy. We will provide the body cameras and information related to all three of these officer involved shootings, within that 14-day period," Phoenix Police Sgt. Brian Bower said.

Body camera video released

On March 10, Phoenix PD released the body camera video from two police officers. The officer in the first video did not fire. The second video is the officer who fired. 

Warning; the video may be disturbing to some viewers.

None of the officers were hurt.

Police say the Maricopa County Attorney's Office is investigating this case.

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